Food From Home

Cooking at home for fun, health and frugality!

Blackberry Dumplings

This week Hagbard brought home a bunch of blackberries from the farmer’s market. I really wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with them but when I mentioned blackberry dumplings Hagbard was very excited. Today I made blackberry dumplings for breakfast. So good!

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I used this recipe-> http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/blackberry-dumplings
The recipe has some reviews that suggest adding water to boil the berries. I often look at reviews and follow suggestions but I don’t think water is necessary in this case at all. The berries release a lot of juice as you heat them. My dumplings turned out fine without adding additional liquids.

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Look at all the liquid the berries produce!

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Plop the dough on top and cover pot.

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After cooking.

This was very tasty and sweet and took about 20-30 minutes total to prepare and cook. Great for a dessert… or breakfast if you are like me!

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Easter Breakfast: Strawberry Rolls With Vanilla Glaze

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I got up around 5 AM today to make some breakfast rolls and deviled eggs. The deviled eggs are standard for Easter but these strawberry rolls are something new to try this year.
http://bakerbynature.com/strawberry-rolls-with-vanilla-glaze/
I didn’t change the recipe. What I would suggest is that when you are instructed to roll the dough tightly that they don’t really mean all that tight or all your strawberry filling will be pushed out even with the 1″ border. I had the majority of the filling ooze onto the counter the first time I rolled. I had to unroll and scoop the filling back on the dough and roll somewhat more loosely.
I made 12 rolls because it fit better in my 8″ x 8″ baking dish and divides more evenly among 3 people than an odd number like 10 or 11. If you have kids are probably painfully aware that they like equal amounts when it comes to food. My finished rolls ended up being about 2″ across and 2″ high.
I sampled a warm roll while cooking my hard boiled eggs. They were light and fluffy. The flavor was pretty subtle and lightly sweet- mostly the flavor came from the vanilla glaze. The strawberry wasn’t really screaming strawberry to me. I think I would like it better if there were also a cinnamon or lemon flavor with the strawberry…maybe in the dough. The rest of the family has not surfaced yet to give them a try so this is just my sleepy opinion.
Hey! It’s 9 AM now. The cat is having her second breakfast/snack… how often do hobbit cat’s eat? Oh, she’s done. I probably freaked her out staring at her eating. Well, following the cat around and reporting on her activities doesn’t get deviled eggs made… or does it? Nope. No little elves have made the eggs for me.

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PJ cat says petting her is more important than cooking.

Back to work. ūüźá

ETA: Hagbard and Amethesto did get up and try the rolls and liked them.

From my home to yours,
Lounmoun

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St. Patrick’s Day Non-Authentic Irish Traditions & Pistachio Pudding Cookies

I have a mixed European ancestry. My ancestors from Ireland arrived in the United States a long ass time ago. My¬† Irish American immigrant ancestor had a child born in 1758 in Virginia.¬† On St. Patrick’s Day my family so long removed from Ireland¬† always ate corned beef, potatoes and cabbage. We usually had some green gelatin dessert.
I’ve read two articles today about how¬† St. Patrick’s Day¬† food traditions in the US changed from traditions in Ireland. It is interesting to find out about why we do these things. Corned beef is delicious so I don’t really need a historical reason or a holiday to eat it. I’m sure whatever people are eating today in Ireland is awesome too.
http://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/food-and-drink/why-are-millions-of-irish-americans-serving-corned-beef-on-st-patrick-s-day-1.2575518
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/18/dining/corned-beef-and-cabbage-not-so-irish-historians-say.html
Today I absolutely have my corned beef in the slow cooker and I am going to make pistachio pudding cookies for our dessert. The pistachio pudding adds a little green. The cookie is not Irish or a particular holiday tradition but has a tasty memory attached.

When I was young my parents would take us all to visit my aunt, uncle and cousin… really we would descend on their peaceful home in a noisy herd. We would read my cousin’s comic books and play on his tire swing. We didn’t have these things at home. My aunt would often bake soft, buttery vanilla pudding cookies on these occasions for us. My mom never made these kind of cookies. I have great memories of the treat of these cookies all warm from the oven. My aunt sadly died of cancer when I was a sophomore in high school but years later when we made a family cookbook we all agreed to the inclusion of Aunt Bev’s pudding cookie recipe. I’m sure she got it from a newspaper, magazine or pudding box but it was still HER recipe. It is a favorite cookie of my daughter now too. You can use any instant pudding flavor you like and add things like chocolate chips. It is fun to experiment with different flavors.

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Pistachio Pudding Cookies
2 1/4 c flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 c butter, softened
3/4 c brown sugar
1/4 c white sugar
3.4 oz box pistachio instant pudding
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 350¬į F. Mix flour and baking soda in one bowl. In separate bowl, beat butter, sugars and instant pudding until combined. Mix in vanilla and eggs. Add flour mixture gradually and mix until combined. Drop by the spoonful onto baking sheet 2″ apart. Bake 8 -10 minutes. Let cool 1 minute on the baking sheet. These cookies stay soft. Store in a tightly sealed container. Makes about 3 dozen cookies.

These turned out to have a very pale greenish cast and subtle flavor. I added a bit of green tea powder to the last batch and it made the cookie a little darker and stronger flavor than just pistachio alone.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

From my home to yours,
Lounmoun

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Another Oatmeal Cookie

Amethesto wanted cookies this week so I asked if we should buy some or make them. The answer was a resounding vote for making cookies. She wanted chocolate chip oatmeal cookies. Hagbard wanted butterscotch chips in the cookies. So we decided to do some of both.
I have a confusing amount of oatmeal cookie recipes including pumpkin oatmeal and Snorlax’s chocolate chip oatmeal cookies (from Amethesto’s hardcore Pokemon phase). The Quaker Oats container had a recipe under the lid so I decided to just try that and replace raisins with the chips.
http://www.quakeroats.com/cooking-and-recipe/vanishing-oatmeal-raisin-cookies.aspx
After mixing up the dough, I divided it into two bowls and stirred the different flavored chips into each bowl. I got  3 dozen cookies that are about 2″ to 2 1/2″ across from this recipe.
The cookies seem crisp and I really noticed the cinnamon. I think my preference is the butterscotch chips. Amethesto snagged a couple of the chocolate chip and went away so I guess they may really be vanishing cookies.
Here is a bad picture of cookie making:

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From my home to yours,
Lounmoun

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Full of beans!

Today I made Treebeard’s Red Beans and Rice as posted on Food.com. It was pretty simple, very filling and made a lot so if you have a group to feed or want some planned leftovers this is a good one to try.

I soaked my dry kidney beans in a pot of water overnight. The recipe states in big letters not to drain the soaking water from the beans. I didn’t see why so I drained it and added fresh water.¬† I’m just looking for something to rebel against!

I simmered my beans for 3 hours then added the seasonings and sausage and simmered it about 4 more hours.¬† For awhile it wasn’t looking too appetizing- kind of grayish water with bits floating around. Gradually it got pinker and the aroma was tempting.¬† You might have observed that I simmered my pot o’ beans way longer than the recipe instructed but I have my reasons! Firstly this was our second day of homeschooling 5th grade and secondly Hagbard didn’t get home until after 7 PM.¬† I think this recipe would go into a slow cooker very well if you want to use it that way- I know I will at some point.¬† (SAHM’s use slow cookers too!) I also think you could leave out the sausage for an even less expensive yet satisfying meatless meal. I served the beans and sausage over rice (of course) with the recommended shredded cheddar cheese and optional green onion.

Little Lulu decided no green onion for hers. She called this recipe Minnie’s Bean and Rice Curry.¬† She likes to rename things.¬† She ate everything but the sausage and declared that¬† it was yummy.¬† Yes! It actually won over my picky eater!¬† Hagbard and I both enjoyed this as well.¬† It was very filling so we have a lot of leftovers.

Leftovers often sneak into Hagbard’s lunch. I went ahead and packed it while I was putting food away tonight. I’m trying to be more responsible and pack his lunch at night just in case I oversleep again.¬†¬† He also is getting a ham and swiss cheese sandwich, doughnut pudding (like bread pudding but made with old doughnuts), dried fruit mix and tomatoes.

The doughnut pudding was created because I spent a good share of Sunday making homemade doughnuts. I only made half a recipe but still had 6 or so full sized doughnuts plus many holes and now they were past their prime. So I had nothing much to lose if it didn’t turn out edible.

To make the doughnut pudding I cut up our old homemade glazed doughnuts into pieces- there were probably about 2- 2 1/2 cups. I dumped them into a greased 8″x8″ baking dish. I beat 1 cup of milk with 1 egg, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp vanilla and about 1/4 cup agave nectar. We are new to agave nectar but like it very much so far. I poured this mixture over the doughnut pieces and let it soak in for about 10 minutes. Then I baked it in a 350 F oven for about 25 minutes- until it was browning on top and set.

So what did the family think of my recycled doughnuts?¬† Little Lulu hates bread pudding so she wouldn’t even try it. Hagbard and I both enjoyed it though and¬† I liked not feeding my trash can the doughnuts I worked so hard on! I think it would also be delicious with the addition of apples.

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